Lodge Kenmuir No 570 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland

Lodge Kenmuir 570

Lodge Kenmuir No 570 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland

Lodge Kenmuir No 570 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland



THE 1950s



            The Minute Book covering the period from 1950 till 1953 is missing but when the Minutes resume it appears that attendance have remained in line with those of the late 1940s. However attendances and Candidates would reduce gradually during the 1950s.

            The major feature of this era was the work carried out by the Reconstruction Committee headed by Bro. John Millar. This work included a new chequered floor and the Dias in the East. This work was further augmented by Wardens Diases in late 1950s to match the one in the East.

            Lodge Kenmuir was also a sponsor Lodge to Lodge Sir William Wallace in the Balornock Area and indeed donated the old Masters Chair to 1504 during this period.



            The Minutes resume again on 13/5/1953 with Bro. John C Howat Jnr in the chair—The first son to follow his father into the chair albeit 31 years later.

In the interim period of 1950-1953 (the period of the missing Minutes) the Masters were as follows;

  1. Bro. Samuel C Sloan
  2. Bro. David Watson
  3. Bro. James McKenzie


It is possible that these Minutes were lost in the flooding that occurred in the 1980s, which so severely damaged the previous 2 Minute Books.

On 27/5/1953 a deputation was received from Lodge Bishopbriggs No 1259 to confer a First Degree headed by Bro. Peter White, Master.

An interesting report was contained in the Minutes of 10/6/1953 when it was recorded that all the Annuitants of the Lodge had received a Coronation Grant of £5.

Bro. David Watson PM organised a trip to the Edinburgh Tattoo, which was reported in the Lodge in 9/9/1953.

The Lodge considered a Notice of Motion on 28/10/1953 to increase the Initiation Fee to £8-8-0 but this was defeated and so it remained at £7-7-0.

The AGM of 1953 was held on 11/11/1953 and the Secretary Bro J Morrison PM gave his report

 21 Regular Meetings          2212               105 Average
                         21 Special Meetings           1672                73 Average
Total                           3884
 These figures seem to have remained on a par with the last Secretary’s Report we have from 1949.

            During the course of the year 39 Degrees had been conferred on 68 Candidates.

The strength of the Lodge at this time was

                        Life Members                        1624
                      Test Fee Members                     82

Bro. W English was elected Master and installed on 25/11/1953. At this Meeting Bro John Howat Senior PM presented his son Bro. John Howat Junior with his Past Masters Jewel prior to the Ceremony of Installation.

The Lodge had obviously set up a Reconstruction Committee in the early part of the 1950s as Bro, John Miller DM reported to the Lodge on behalf of this Committee to the Lodge on 10/3/1954 as he gave a “full report on the reconstruction plan of the Lodge Room

At the next Meeting on 24/3/1954 a Notice of Motion was put forward that”£700 from the Lodge reserve fund be set aside to meet the cost of the Lodge reconstruction programme”. Unfortunately exact details of all the work  the plan entailed are not included in the Minutes but the balance sheet for the year shows accounts for:

Reconstruction of dias (probably the one in the East)              £265
Flooring (probably the chequered flooring in the Temple)       £141


The Meeting on 26/5/1954 was very important as the Lodge decided to award “Distinguished Service Memberships” to two of the Lodge stalwarts namely Bro. George Carruth PM and Bro. John Howat Snr PM. It was agreed that a special Meeting would be held on 3/9/1954 and a dinner would follow the presentation.

This Special Meeting co-incided with the dedication of the Lodge furniture and 3 chairs and Bro. Earnest Noakes Depute Provincial Grand Master commented on “the new furnishings and the alterations in a very favourable manner”. The dedication was carried out by Bro. Rev B Wotherspoon PGChap.

I think it is worth pointing out that the Chairs dedicated were in the Masters and Wardens Chairs. The Wardens Chairs were to be later superseded with diases and as such the Chairs which were dedicated in 1954 are the chairs currently in use in the East as Master, Depute Master and Immediate Past Master. 

This was the last Minute that Bro. J Morrison PM(1939) Sec was to write for the Lodge, as on 22/9/1954 it was with regret that the Master Bro. W English reported the death of the Secretary. Bro. Rev J Russell Anderson conducted an In Memoriam service and paid “a tribute to Bro. Morrisons long years of loyal untiring and devoted service to the Lodge”.

The AGM of the Lodge was held on 10/1/1954 at which the Lodge considered the Notice of Motion to present a jewel and apron to the retiring Master—to the sum of £30. The Secretary, Bro. Porterfield , reported that there had been 39 Initiates during the last year. Bro. J Miller was nominated as Master and duly Installed on 24/11/1954. Bro. Miller had produced a set of drawings of the Lodge premises in 1953—probably to co-incide with the “reconstruction” works. The drawings are still present in the adjacent of the Lodge and a set of plans is also in the Mitchell Library.

On 8/12/1954 the Lodge agreed to purchase new aprons for Office-Bearers and this was followed up in 12/1955 with a Notice of Motion that £175 be used to purchase aprons and gauntlets for the Master and Wardens.

Although the Candidates for the Lodge had dipped in numbers it still took a considerable amount of time to join the Lodge. I can illustrate this by citing my own father, Bro. William Shields Wilson when he joined the Lodge at this time.

            22/12/1954    Application made. Proposed by Bro. W Clay.
                                                                    Seconded by Bro. D Norris.
            26/1/1955      Ballot taken.
            9/3/1955         1st Degree by Bro. Sam Sloan PM
            11/5/1955      2nd Degree by Bro. D Watson PM
            13/7/1955      3rd Degree by Bro D Coutts WSW
            30/5/1956      Mark Degree by Bro. Sam Sloan PM

It took 17 months to progress from application to the completion of the Mark Degree. As an aside it is interesting to note that both my father and myself received our Mark Degree by the same Brother—Sam Sloan PM—some 25 years apart.

Another Brother whose application was read about the same time as my fathers was Bro. Jim Melville, read on 12/1/1955, who course is still a very regular attender.

The Meeting on 9/2/1956 was interesting for a few points. This was the Meeting prior to the Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation and it was agreed to cater for 100---3 times today’s average for a PGL Visit. A list of General Committee recommendations were considered at the same Meeting and all approved. The recommendations were;

  1. Lodge Kenmuir No 570 agree to sponsor a new Masonic Lodge in the Balornock area of Glasgow. (This of course was to be Lodge Sir William Wallace No 1504)
  2. That the Lodge carpet not be used on Meeting nights. (Obviously the Lodge wished to make use of the new chequered floor)
  3. Change Lodge of Instruction from 1st Wednesday to 3rd Wednesday (This may have been to accommodate the Royal Arch Chapter).
  4. That the Secretary in reading the Minutes refer to Past Masters, Office-Bearer’s and Brethren as per the sederunt book instead of reading entire list. (This procedure is still followed today)


At this same Meeting a gift of velvet drapes was presented to the Lodge for use on the Wardens Stations (probably tables) was presented by Bro. A Tasker and  Bro. McDonald. 

At the Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge Visit on 27/2/1955 which Bro. Anderson McMillan PGM attended, the Lodge agreed to pay £173-1-6 for the redecoration of “the upper hall, annex hallway, main stairway and porch”. The Social Fund funded this. The Lodge also set the date for its Annual Divine Service for 3/4/1955 in Johnston Church.

The Lodge continued with its social events by taking 100 seats in the Metropole Theatre to support the Garrowhill Operatic Club who had previously supplied Harmony for the Lodge.

A letter was received on 13/4/1955 thanking the Lodge for its telegram of good wishes to Bro. W Kidd, a Member of 570, who had been elected JD of Lodge River of Light, Geneva.

The General Committee came back with a further recommendation to the Lodge on 11/5/1955—“That the Masters Chair no longer in use be polished and presented to Lodge Sir William Wallace No 1504”. This recommendation was accepted.

It was with sadness that the Lodge on 13/7/1955 reported the death of its Senior Past Master Bro. John Howat Senior (1932). His son Bro. John Howat Junior thanked the Lodge for its support.

The Lodges new Regalia was dedicated at the Meeting held on 10/8/1955 by Bro. Rev Gordon Ewan PG Chap.

The Lodge held its AGM on 9/11/1955 at which it was decided that for Members children to qualify for attendance at the Children Treat that the Member had to attend 6 Meetings. This is similar to the system in use now for the Pensioners bus run—3 attendances being the qualifying number.

The Secretary gave his report.
                        Initiates had increases by 12 to 51 for the year.
21 Regular Meetings           1880               94 Average
                        10 Special Meetings              876                73 Average
Total                           2756

The Secretary also reported that he had sent a billet of business to all the Qualified Members of the Lodge and had 629 returned! This reduced the Life Membership of the Lodge to 1012, with 88 Test Fee Members giving a total Membership of 1100. The Secretary also advised that he would inform Grand Lodge---no doubt to reduce fees!

Bro. J McLellan was elected as Master and duly Installed on 27/11/1955.

At the Meeting on 14/12/1955 it was reported that Bro A Cormack PM (1946) had passed away. At the same Meeting it was agreed to purchase 100 aprons at cost of £49 for use in the Lodge.

Another important milestone was reached at this point---The Secretary Bro A Porterfield was now writing in biro ! The days of quills and fountain pens were over! I would also assume that biro is much less likely to fade than old fashioned ink and certainly more robust when facing the perils of flooding and dry rot!

The Provincial Visit to the Lodge on 11/4/1956, which was headed by Bro. Harold Brown SPGM sowed the seed of discontent within the Lodge as regards Provincial Grand Lodge. Bro. Harold Brown SPGM gave his report to the Lodge in which he advised that the Initiation Fee was far too low and that given the Membership of the Lodge the attendance “left much to be admired”---Perhaps he not read the Secretary’s report from the AGM! He then continued and reported that only 4 Lodges in the Province of Glasgow had not donated to the Glasgow Masonic Temple Fund----Guess what --570 was one of them! Apparently the other 3 Lodges were “young Lodges and had little finance” The Lodge did however get a Clear Minute but Bro. Harold Brown SPGM didn’t get Honorary Membership!

A Lodge of Instruction followed the next week on 18/4/1956 at which Bro. S McArthur PM Lodge Kelvin Partick No 1207 delivered the lecture of the 1st Degree Tracing Board and was thanked for his efforts.

The Lodge considered what to do about the comments made by Bro. Harold Brown SPGM at the PGL Visitation and in response to the Glasgow Masonic Temple Fund a Notice of Motion was put forward that “a token donation of £25 be donated to the Temple Fund”. An amendment was put forward by Bro. John Howat PM seconded by Bro. D Watson Pm that “nothing be donated”—Although I suspect that wasn’t quite what was said! A vote was then taken

                        For the Motion                                  19
                        For the Amendment                                    17

However as the Notice of Motion required a two-thirds majority to succeed the amendment prevailed and nothing was given to the Temple Fund. This was a complete reversal of what happened in the 1900s when Lodge Kenmuir appealed for funds from Provincial Grand Lodge to assist to build a Temple and PGL donated nothing. It would appear this was pay back time.

At this same Meeting an invite to the Installation of Lodge Meyerton Johannesburg was received as the Master Elect was Bro C Briggs , a Member of 570.

The Lodge reported on 8/8/1956 that an outing had been organised to the Edinburgh Tattoo—the cost of tickets 1/6.

At the Meeting on 12/9/1956 a letter was received from Lodge Stratford, Ontario asking permission to confer a 50-year jewel on Bro. Edwin Gass, a Member of 570.At this same meeting Bro. Alex K Watson was initiated to the Lodge. Bro. Alex was to become the Master of the Lodge twice (so far!) and attain the high rank of Substitute Provincial Grand Master of Provincial Grand Lodge, become a Steward of Grand Lodge and receive Grand Honours.-The Rank of Honorary Senior Deacon.xxxxxxxx

The Lodge went hi-tech on 24/9/1956 when it agreed to purchase a typewriter for the Secretary—Perhaps his writing was as good as mine!

The General Committee made a recommendation to the Lodge on 14/11/1956 “ That the Lodge carpet be kept and used at Meetings”. This succeeded on a vote of 62-34. Perhaps there was a suggestion that the Lodge should dispose of its carpet (to one of the newer Lodges?) or maybe the novelty of the new chequered floor was wearing off. The Meeting also acknowledged the fact that Bro. Clarkson PM and Bro. Quinn had won the Grant Whist Cup.

Bro. G Shepherd was elected as Master and duly Installed on 28/11/1956 at a “wet” Harmony!

Unfortunately there is no Secretary’s Report in the Minutes of the AGM. However Reports were given from the Quarterly Communications—Lodge Milton had been granted a Charter and that Degree Meetings for all Lodges had been restricted to a maximum of 25 (which would probably only allow 7 Special Meetings per year assuming Degrees were conferred at 18 Regular Meetings)

At the Meeting on 12/12/1956 the Lodge agreed to hold its Divine Service in Springburn Hill Church on 3/3/1956, which would be conducted by Bro. Rev Wills.

January 1957 marked the Masonic career of two of the Brethren of Lodge Kenmuir;

  1. Bro. J Hutton had been elected as SW of the Memorial Lodge in Toronto, Canada.
  2. Bro W Kidd had been installed as Master in Lodge River of Light in Geneva.


A Notice of Motion was put forward at the Meeting on 23/1/1957 that the Installation be held on the last Saturday in November and that the Initiation Fee be increases to £9-9-0. It was also agreed that audits should take place 9 days after the end of the accounting period.

This Notice of Motion was considered at the Meeting on 13/2/1957 at which the Fee increase was approved. However an amendment was put forward by Bro A Tasker seconded by Bro. S Sloan PM that the Installation be held on the 4th Wednesday of November at 6.30PM. The amendment was carried by a majority of 42-30.At the same Meeting the Lodge congratulated Bro. Clarkson and Bro. Quinn on securing the third place at the Whist competition.

The Lodge received a letter from Lodge Bishopbriggs No 1259 enclosing 25 tickets for the visit of the Scottish Compass Club of Trenton, USA who were appearing in Springburn Hall(which is now derelict) on the 20th of June.

The Provincial Grand Lodge Visit took place on 24/4/1957 headed by Bro. R Gordon SPGM and contained basically the same complaints as the previous year

  1. Given a Qualified Member list of 1017 the average attendance was only 100 which was low, and
  2. Still no donation had been received for the Temple Fund.


On a more positive note, however , Bro. R Gordon SPGM acknowledged the work of Bro. W Daniel PM as Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in the Province.

The Lodge of Instruction welcomed Bro. Peter Shearer IPPGM of Dunbartonshire , PM of Lodge Kilsyth St. John No 39 who gave a lecture on “The Liberal Arts and Sciences

An interesting financial transaction took place in 25/9/1957 when the Lodge agreed to transfer £50 from the General Fund to the Hall Revenue Fund in lieu of rent.

The AGM was held on 13/11/1957 when Bro. J Coutts was elected and was Installed on 27/11/1957. I believe that Bro. J Coutts was the son of Bro D Coutts who was Secretary of the Lodge from 1894 to 1915.

Bro. J Howat PM at the meeting on 11/12/1957 suggested that the Lodge purchase “open collection Plates”—Perhaps the Lodge was acquiring too many sweet papers in the collection!

The Lodge of Instruction of 15/1/1958 welcomed Bro. Peter McNab IPM of Lodge Sir William Wallace No 1504 and a MM of 570. Bro. John McLeod gave a lecture on the First Degree Tracing Board.

The Provincial Visit of 1958 took place on 22/1/1958 and once again the poor attendance was mentioned, as was the lack of a donation to the Temple Fund. I get the impression that by this time PGL had the feeling that they were flogging a dead horse.

The Meeting of 26/2/1958 recorded the death of Bro Anderson McMillan Provincial Grand Master and Lodges were informed that mourning would continue until the end of March and all Regalia would be draped.
The First mention of Lodge Castlemilk No 1536 in the Lodge Minutes took place on 26/03/1958 when Lodge Kenmuir were invited to confer a Third Degree on Monday 14th July.

The attendance at the Lodge of Instruction was raising concern and  the Master Bro. Coutts was of the opinion that “the attendance did not warrant its continuance”. As such a Notice of Motion was considered at the Meeting on 23/4/1958 when an amendment was put forward by Bro. G Barr PM, seconded by Bro. G McLean that the Lodge of Instruction continue. The amendment was successful and the Lodge of Instruction did continue.

A First Degree was conferred on 14/5/1958 at which a certain Bro. Alex Watson presented the Tools—The first appearance of Bro. Alex on the floor but certainly not the last.

On 28/5/1958 Bro. Rev. William Fraser Wills, a Member of Lodge Union No 332 and a Founder Member of Lodge Loch Lomond Drymen No 1483 had Honorary Membership conferred upon him. Bro. Wills was the Minister at Springburn Hill Parish Church where the Annual Divine Service was held.

It was with sadness that on 13/8/1958 that the death of Bro. W Daniel PM (1943) was reported. As well as being a faithful servant to the Lodge he had also been on the PGL Benevolent Committee. The Lodge acknowledged his death in the usual manner and at the conclusion Bro. J Melville sang, “Only remembered” –Bro. Daniels favourite Hymn. Also at this meeting the Lodge decided to revert to Committee recommendation for Office.    

At the Meeting on 8/10/1958 a Notice of Motion was put forward to set aside £36 to purchase a Jewel an Apron for the retiring Master—An increase of £6 on the previous year. At the next Meeting on 22/10/1958 it was reported that Kenmuir had visited Lodge Panmure in Arbroath.

Bro G Barr was elected as Master and duly Installed on 26/11/1958.Unfortunately no details of the Secretary’s Report exist.

A proposal was put forward at the Meeting on 10/12/1958 that an item of furniture be bought for the Lodge in memory of Bro. W Daniel PM. This was readily agreed to in principle. At this same Meeting the Lodge was informed of a Provincial Grand Lodge Masters Dinner, which was probably a forerunner of the Masters-Get-Together held today.

The Meeting on 25/3/1959 marked the death of another PM –Bro. A Hutton(1926). A letter was received from Lodge St Clair, Toronto requesting permission to present a 50-year Diploma to Bro. Daniel Cook who was a Founder Member of that Lodge.

A curious letter was received from Grand Lodge at the Meeting on 8/4/1959. It stated that “Grand Committee records its disapproval at housey housey, tombola or similar games of chance as a method of raising money for Masonic purposes” Changed days indeed! Many Lodges now rely on raffles to keep their Lodges afloat and Grand Lodge runs its own 2000 Club raffle. It was also recorded at this meeting that “the Cupola and windows were in a dirty condition”!

On 13/5/1959 the Lodge agreed that all advertisements in the Evening Times should appear on the Saturday and not Monday—A practice still followed today when the Meeting requires it.

The Lodge at its Meeting on 28/9/1959 decided to donate £3 to the Auchengeich Pit Disaster and at the Meeting on 14/10/1959 Bro. G Barr Master was invited to attend Lodge Springburn No 1198 fortieth anniversary celebrations.

The AGM for 1959 was held on 11/11/1959 at which the Dedication of the Wardens Diases was conducted. These are the ones currently in use today and were dedicated “To the Glory of God and in Memory of all deceased Past Masters of Lodge Kenmuir”. It was obviously decided to dedicate the furniture to all deceased Past Masters and not just Bro. W Daniel PM. The Chairs which these replaced are, I believe, currently still in use in the Lodge being located 2 seats to the left and right of the Master---Each contain a carving of a Plumb rule or a square which would indicate their use as Wardens Chairs.

The AGM also acknowledged the sporting success of Bro Weatherhead and Bro. Norris in winning the District Whist Cup.

Bro Edward Murray was elected and duly Installed as Master on 25/11/1959---The last Installation of the 1950s.

The final Meeting of the 1950s took place on 23/12/1959 when a Third Degree was conferred on 5 Candidates including Bro. Alastair Grant. This Degree was due to be conferred by Bro. George Thornberry but he had called off due to illness, and the Degree was conferred by Bro. John McLean SM.





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